Using professional qualification to prepare detainee reintegration

French prisons often deal with a high rate of recidivism frequently related to inadequate rehabilitation paths. High bureaucracy, logistical challenges, and corporate image are limiting the engagement with companies offering employment in detention.

In an effort to make labor in prison an instrument for detainees’ reintegration, the Directorate of Penitentiary Administration in France (DPA) and the M6 Foundation engaged in finding new approaches to develop work and vocational training inside jails. This strategy would accompany the prisoner in his preparation for his release and reduce the risk of delinquency relapse.

Getting all parties around the table to find innovative approaches

BearingPoint worked together with the M6 Foundation, the French Ministry of Justice, and the DPA to frame a project for building new experimental penitentiaries. Their goal was to support prisoners’ reintegration through employment after being released from their custodial sentences.

BearingPoint analyzed the current challenges penitentiaries face when offering jobs to prisoners during and after serving time in jail. Workshops were organized with the DPA and the hiring companies, resulting in a target operating model for labor and training development. The recommendations covered what type of jobs can be performed inside jails, the recruitment process, and the qualification criteria. An evaluation method was also defined for inmates at the beginning, during, and after their development program completion. They also detailed how the jail staff should be organized and the technology landscape needed to enable the hiring companies, the DPA, the jail administration, and detainees to collaborate efficiently.

Building experimental detention establishments to enable inmate rehabilitation

Based on BearingPoint’s designed project frame, the French DPA is currently engaged in the construction of three experimental prisons focusing on inmate reintegration through professional development and high-value job opportunities.

In addition to the Ministry funds, the initiative managed to raise €35m from a major public fund dedicated to public modernization to fully support the multi-year commitment that is radically changing the role of prison in the rehabilitation of detainees.

At the same time, businesses can benefit from a more skilled and versatile workforce and actively contribute to the effectiveness of detainees’ release preparation and recidivism prevention programs.

These experimental jails enable a new rehabilitation approach that aims to shift entirely the perspective of how prison labor can be capitalized, making the time spent in detention useful.


The M6 Foundation, part of the French media holding company M6 Group, is dedicated to enabling the rehabilitation of detainees and preventing recidivism. Their main work areas cover supporting inmates returning to employment, fighting against illiteracy and for more access to education, and leveraging culture as a vehicle for social integration.

  • Download the M6 Foundation success story
    Download the M6 Foundation success story 330.68 KB Download

Would you like more information?

If you want to get more information about this client story please get in touch with our experts who would be pleased to hear from you.